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Tailrisers vs. Stock seat height (long read)

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  • Tailrisers vs. Stock seat height (long read)

    I'm putting this in the trackdays section since I am comparing the two AT THE TRACK.

    *Disclaimer* I LOVE my TL and have been a proud and vocal member of our cult since 2006....

    If you don't want to read - cliff notes at the bottom....

    My background: I have been a licensed motorcycle rider for 20 years (I'm 37 right now). I have been on sportbikes for 15, track riding for 4 years (5 different tracks and counting) and this year was my first season of club racing for the LRRS (CCS) series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. I race an '05 SV650 in the superbike and thunderbike classes. Mods for the SV include - Penske double clicker, GSXR front end (set up for my weight) with radial brakes, EBC HH pads, brembo master, steel brake lines, steering damper, full Micron system, K&N filter, custom tuned, Woodcraft rear sets, Pirelli race rubber.

    Mods for the TL (performance wise) - Ohlins rear, reworked fork internals (set up for my weight), aftermarket damper, Full Ti-Force, K&N, custom tune, Pazzo levers, steel brake lines....

    I have done numerous trackdays at NHMS and NJMP with the TL. I didn't start riding the SV until April of this year....

    I had Van's risers on the bike since I bought her in 2006.....
    I changed back to stock seat height early this year (so the wife could ride with me).....

    This happened at NJMP on 9/26/10.

    This is my story:

    I decided this past winter since I bought the race bike I would only track the TL on special occasions since she was going to be my main street ride. The 2 day event at NJMP saw me on thunderbolt on Sunday and Lightning on Monday. I figured this would be a spectacular time to get the old girl back into her track attire and attack the 2 fast tracks. I had brought the SV to Thunderbolt earlier in the season to test out the high speed antics, but didn't feel fulfilled since I has NHMS gearing on it.

    Saturday night - I pull into the Thunderbolt track. I help the Pirelli vendor sell and mount tires at the trackday events, so it was business as usual...setting up the tire changing machine, mounting, balancing and selling tires, bullshitting....I was GLOATING to all my trackday friends about how awesome the TL is at this track and with the added power (compared to my SV), I was going to have a BLAST!

    Sunday morning I wake up, get downstairs to the garage and go to work...mounting, balancing, selling....As things slowed down, it got to be that time for me to hit the track! I was SO amped up! I get dressed and fire her up....The sound was intoxicating! It seemed like the whole garage looked over as she roared to life and was warming up!!!

    I'm a few minutes behind since I wanted to go out last since I haven't been on the track yet....Just wanted to get my body warmed up, try to get a rythem and get used to all that power again!!!

    I roll out to the starter, he sees an opening and I'm off! Rolling down pit out with a grin ear to ear!!! I do a few warm up laps, get some heat in the brakes and tires......and I'm off!

    I hit the straight full throttle.....go to brake for turn 1....HOLY S*&T...PLEASE STOP!!!!! I forgot the brakes aren't even CLOSE to the race bike set-up! So needless to say, I blow turn 1 and go wide....which in turn screwed me for 2...I get back on the line and set up for the chicane (right/left/right)....this is where I first felt it....I get my body into position and throw her into the right hand turn.....nope, not leaned enough, more bar input, MORE bar input, hit the apex, slide my body to the left, whack the throttle to get her to stand up, throw her left, MORE bar input...MORE bar input....slide my body right, whack the throttle, throw her down to the right again and power out to the next right hander.....

    My body just didn't feel right....I know it's not the race bike, but it didn't feel like the good 'ole girl of old either....I finsh the lap racking my brain trying to figure out what was going on....The turns weren't comforable, she didn't feel stable mid corner, and was so much harder to turn.....On top of that, I felt like I was sliding all over the seat....

    I do one more hot lap to make sure it just wasn't in my head...same results...At this point, I'm not happy and I pit in to make adjustments.

    I raised the rearsets to see if would keep my body 'planted' a little better, gave her a little more compression (she was diving under hard braking), and raised the rearend 2mm to try to get her to turn in a little easier....

    I go out for the next session and she feels no better...I come in after just 6 laps. At this point I am NOT having fun (except when I am on the throttle)....

    I keep trying small adjustments throughout the day trying to get her to feel okay....I gave up after 6 sessions...

    I was sitting that night replaying everything I did and how it felt. Then...BOOM...it hit me! I didn't have the risers on anymore.....It all made sense....Due to the angle of the subframe, the risers force your nuts in the tank...that was the 'sliding' I felt...I was actually able to move around on the seat (which I didn't like)...It also threw off my body position...when the risers were on, as soon as you slide from one side to the other, you're kind of locked into the tank, the additional movement makes you actually think about the placement of your butt (front to back on the seat) along with trying to get my feet, legs, and upper body right....also, when you're on the back of the seat, the pegs feel very forward and I felt VERY low (the adjustment to the rearset back and up helped, but still didn't feel right).

    Although I faked it and said how awesome the TL was to ride on the track, it sucked....Not only because I am now used to a bike that's 100 pounds lighter and stops 1,000 better, but also because the risers did so many positive things for her ON THE TRACK.....and now they are gone and I am not putting them back on....

    In closing, I will say it again....I LOVE my TL and she is a FANTASTIC street bike, and I won't get rid of her, but she will never see the track again...I was so disappointed....



    Cliff notes:
    Risers - keep your nuts in the tank (good thing)
    gave ME and more stable corner feel which I'm sure is due to body position
    helped keep my body position more consistant

    without risers - slid all over the seat
    felt very low on the bike
    pegs felt forward (even adjusted up and back)
    body position felt 'off'

    Again - THIS IS JUST MY OPINION...If any trackriders have the opportunity to try a track WITH risers, I think you will be pleasantly suprised!!

  • #2
    Re: Tailrisers vs. Stock seat height (long read)

    Originally posted by marshdrummer View Post
    ....Not only because I am now used to a bike that's 100 pounds lighter and stops 1,000 better, but also because the risers did so many positive things for her ON THE TRACK.....and now they are gone and I am not putting them back on....

    In closing, I will say it again....I LOVE my TL and she is a FANTASTIC street bike, and I won't get rid of her, but she will never see the track again...I was so disappointed....

    Again - THIS IS JUST MY OPINION...If any trackriders have the opportunity to try a track WITH risers, I think you will be pleasantly suprised!!
    First off, great write up

    I agree about the tail risers, they seem to keep you in place and 'plant' your ass, and balls (ouch), up against the tank and seat. It is even better if you lose the plushy oem seat and run a full race tail with seat foam (even higher yet and no slipping around).

    About the braking.....I have recently invested some serious money into my front brake set-up, I can say my R stops with the most violence I have ever experienced. Having raced a decked out Gixxer 6, my currently set up R would easily out brake it all day, given equal rider ability.

    And about tracking the TL.....I am on the other side of the fence, I completely love it on the track. Sure she is 10+ years old, but after a healthy diet, great mods, and a little set-up, she runs and performs like a gem. It is no 2010 GSXR or Duc 1098, but can hang with them around the track no problem. And when parked in the pits, every one walks by all the GSXR1CBRZX's, while they stop at the R to ask what it is, or comment on how much they loved their TL before they sold it.




    [/QUOTE]
    BBotM October 2010
    BBotM June 2012

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    • #3
      Re: Tailrisers vs. Stock seat height (long read)

      I have to agree with thumpthump.... I love the TL on the track. I don't run tail risers and don't like having my nuts squished to the tank, I like being able to adjust my body for what I am doing. If I am accelerating, I slide back a bit for traction. I also do the same under braking as with 2 fingers I am lifting the rear wheel. There is something about being able to run the same times as others that are one machines 10 years newer. It gives you a hell of a sense of accomplishment.

      On a side note, which trackday org do you do njmp with. I go with nesba or motorcycleexcitement.
      Mike Rock
      NESBA #506 '98 TLR
      American cycle performance MRP motorsports

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Tailrisers vs. Stock seat height (long read)

        Don't get me wrong, I USED TO love my TL on the track...I whole heartedly think if I put risers back on, and do a front end swap (for radial brakes), it will bring back my excitement. BUT, I bought the race bike soley for racing and trackdays and with goody parts getting harder and harder to come by for the TL, I will keep her as street duty....there's no better feeling in the world like a 300lb dude on a 65 horseposwer bike passing 600's and 1000's!!!





        Originally posted by Mikey75702 View Post
        On a side note, which trackday org do you do njmp with. I go with nesba or motorcycleexcitement.
        I run with Tonys Track Days.... tonystrackdays.com .....

        They pride themselves on safety, no hooligans or racers, being extremely newb friendly, top notch instruction and very structured as far as groups and times. I get to ride because I work with the Pirelli rep which in turn the owner of TTD owns part of the Pirelli business....The only other racers there are instructors and control riders....

        At NHMS last year....

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        • #5
          Re: Tailrisers vs. Stock seat height (long read)

          Motox is kinda hit or miss.... but nesba is top notch. And dam are those guys fast..... one of the guys last time I was up there with nesba was doing 1.24?'s on thunderbolt..... everyone was commenting on how fast he was and running ama times. And the control riders are amazingly helpful as well. There are quite a few that race wera and ccs so you probably even know some of them.
          Mike Rock
          NESBA #506 '98 TLR
          American cycle performance MRP motorsports

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tailrisers vs. Stock seat height (long read)

            Great read, and I think you solved my problem on the track. I never had any problems maker her turn in the hair pin turns in Germany when i had the rises in. My track day last weekend really sucked, I could just not " get into the bike". She felt heavy and unwieldy, hard to turn, I could not get comfortable. I will try the risers again.
            I am a woman.
            My motorcycle site.
            One Cool Canadian...got Beer?

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            • #7
              Re: Tailrisers vs. Stock seat height (long read)

              What tires are you all using for the track? I used Mich Pilot roads 2CT. They heated up nice, did not get greasy when the track got hot, but I found them real slow to turn in.
              I am a woman.
              My motorcycle site.
              One Cool Canadian...got Beer?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Tailrisers vs. Stock seat height (long read)

                Originally posted by SL500 View Post
                What tires are you all using for the track? I used Mich Pilot roads 2CT. They heated up nice, did not get greasy when the track got hot, but I found them real slow to turn in.
                I've used the pp 2cts and power pures. I run 190/55 and 120/70. Next year I wanna give the dunlop ntec slicks a try in the 195/60 profile.
                Mike Rock
                NESBA #506 '98 TLR
                American cycle performance MRP motorsports

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Tailrisers vs. Stock seat height (long read)

                  them real slow to turn in.
                  Slide the forks thru the triples 3mm at a time till the bike turns naturally.
                  www.cycleinnovations.com.au

                  It never ceases to amaze why people ask for advice then when I give it they either ignore it or argue against it.
                  But then I don't know all that much about TL's

                  wwjd.......what would jimmy do.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Tailrisers vs. Stock seat height (long read)

                    ahhhh did not think of that, now that I think, they are flush with the triple tree right now.
                    I am a woman.
                    My motorcycle site.
                    One Cool Canadian...got Beer?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Tailrisers vs. Stock seat height (long read)

                      Originally posted by SL500 View Post
                      What tires are you all using for the track? I used Mich Pilot roads 2CT. They heated up nice, did not get greasy when the track got hot, but I found them real slow to turn in.
                      I've used Metzler M3's for a couple of seasons on the TL. Always had good confidence with them. The SV, Pirelli Dragon Supercorsa Pro's. GREAT tire!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Tailrisers vs. Stock seat height (long read)

                        Originally posted by SL500 View Post
                        I could just not " get into the bike". She felt heavy and unwieldy, hard to turn, I could not get comfortable.
                        EXACTLY!!!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Tailrisers vs. Stock seat height (long read)

                          Heavy, unwieldy, hard to turn...

                          There is a reason for this, and its not the bike's fault. You're bike is not set up properly. They don't come set up correctly from the factory. NO bikes do.

                          Tire profiles and their state of wear, position of the forks in the triples, spacer size at the top of the clevis(rear ride height), and a number of other things can effect how the bike handles.

                          I can easily make my machine very stable and make it want to just go straight, I can as well make it very unstable, turn insanely quick, and make it nearly impossible to keep it going in a straight line.

                          The margin between both extremes is in some pretty small measurements.

                          I'm sure some searching will reveal the specifics as its been talked about a gazillian times.

                          Give it a try you guys!
                          TL1000R: For those who like to drive high speed tanks

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